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Q: Is Sharon Juon a college graduate? If so, where did she go to school and what is her degree in?

A: Juon graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in sociology.

Q: In the Aug. 23rd Courier is an article about the new safety building and it mentions the city has banked operational savings over several years in anticipation of constructing a new building so they don’t have to issue bonded debt. Why isn’t the school board taking that same approach?

A: Cedar Falls Schools spokesperson Janelle Darst replies: “A city and school district in Iowa have different rules for finance, revenue and expense. The Cedar Falls Community School District is working on designating future statewide sales tax funds for the construction of new high school. However the length of time necessary to build up future funds for a new high school far exceed the anticipated remaining life expectancy of sections of the current high school.”

Q: Some people have a large white flag with a bright blue W on them in their yards or windows. What do they represent?

A: Those are “Cubs Win” flags — celebrating the Chicago Cubs victory last fall in the World Series.

Q: I see the city of Waterloo is giving Tyson’s a tax break to enhance their business. What is the benefit to the city to do that?

A: The city of Waterloo will get a lot more property taxes to support city, county and school services from the new building, and the 245 new jobs being created represented payroll that likely will be spent in many sectors of the local economy.

Q: Since the Isle of Capri started how much tax break have homeowners received?

A: The property tax rate in Waterloo was $44.11 per $1,000 when the casino opened in 2007 and is $40.33 now. There are an enormous number of factors that effect whether your property taxes go up or down each year, so you can’t conflate whether your individual bill changed just because of casino revenues. We can tell you the city of Waterloo receives about $1.3 million in direct payments annually from the casino each year, while Black Hawk County gets another $440,000 per year. Those go directly to the local governments’ general funds to replace the need for property taxes. The Isle pays nearly $6 million to the Black Hawk County Gaming Association annually to pay for local projects that either wouldn’t happen or would be funded with other sources, including taxes. On top of that, the casino is paying about $2 million in property taxes this year.

Questions are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.

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